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Iran Press TV

N Korean leader's sister warns of 'destruction' of S Korean ties

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 16 September 2021 9:32 AM

The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has denounced as "inappropriate" the recent comments by South Korean president following his country's ballistic missile test.

On Wednesday, President Moon Jae-in termed Seoul's growing missile capabilities as a "sure deterrence" against provocations from Pyongyang.

"Enhancing our missile capability is exactly what's needed as deterrence against North Korea's provocation," Moon said, as he supervised Seoul launching its first successful test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

In response, Kim Yo-jong, in a statement carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Thursday, threatened a "complete destruction" of bilateral relations if Moon continued with what she described as slander of the North.

"If the president joins in the slander and detraction (against us), this will be followed by counter actions, and the North/South relations will be pushed toward a complete destruction," she said. "We don't want that."

She also noted that Pyongyang was developing its military capabilities for self-defense without targeting a specific country, adding that the South is also increasing its military capabilities.

On Wednesday, South Korea reported its first test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, with the presidential Blue House announcing that the missile flew the planned distance before hitting its target.

The test came hours after South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that Pyongyang had fired two ballistic missiles toward the waters of the Korean Peninsula's east coast.

The missiles are believed to have landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, the country's coast guard said.

Two days earlier, North Korea said it had successfully tested new long-range cruise missiles inside its own territorial waters, a first missile launch since March.

South Korea, which has been advancing its military power including its missile capabilities, has now become the world's seventh country to have developed SLBM technology.

The North has also unveiled a series of new SLBMs in recent years.

South and North Korea cite one another's military developments as the reason for boosting their capabilities

The latest missile tests by the two countries are expected to exacerbate tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga condemned the launches, saying they "threaten the peace and safety of Japan and the region and are absolutely outrageous."

N. Korea says tested new railway-borne missile system to strike 'threatening forces'

Meanwhile, North Korea has said the missiles it had fired on Wednesday were a test of a new "railway-borne missile system" designed as a potential counter-strike to any forces that threaten the country.

The North Korean test was conducted by a railway-borne missile regiment that had been organized earlier this year, according to a report by KCNA.

However, the tests by North Korea drew international condemnation and concern, with the United States saying it violated UN Security Council resolutions and posed a threat to Pyongyang's neighbors.

North Korea has long been under harsh United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. The US has spearheaded those sanctions and has imposed several rounds of its own.

The North has held three successive rounds of inconclusive negotiations with the US under the former president Donald Trump's administration. But bilateral diplomacy did not last long as Trump refused to remove sanctions in exchange for several steps by the North toward demilitarization.

The US and South Korea depict the North's missile and nuclear programs as a threat, while Pyongyang says the substantial US military presence on the peninsula threatens its national security.

The two Koreas are still technically in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War, which pitted the North and ally China against the South and US-led UN forces, ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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